Dave MacLeod climbs Gutbuster 8B+

© Chris Prescott/Dark Sky Media

Dave MacLeod has climbed Gutbuster (8B+) at Dumbarton, originally put up by Malcolm Smith in September 2008. Dave first began trying the problem in 2007, although moved to the highlands shortly after. The problem climbs a link section across a roof into Sanction (8B). We believe this was the first repeat of the problem.

Dave on Gutbuster whilst it was still sunny in May 2017  © Chris Prescott/Dark Sky Media
Dave on Gutbuster whilst it was still sunny in May 2017
© Chris Prescott/Dark Sky Media

Since first trying the problem, Dave has struggled with various injuries and writes on his blog that he had a separated shoulder in September: "I was struggling to raise my arm above my head, never mind climb anything. I managed to get back on Gutbuster by November, I was climbing but still not nearly on 8B+ form and my right arm was still extremely weak."

Despite this setback, Dave made great progress in spite of the poor conditions typical for the UK. Over the winter, he built the strength up whilst experimenting with aspects of his diet and recovery. From then he had several promising sessions where he made noticeable progress, returning exhausted from each session.

The Beast from the East arrived, which did little to deter Dave. He fell from the Sanction section of the problem during a blizzard, before retreating to a café for a rest as dark set in. Dave has his 'one last go' and managed to climb through to the crux 'in error' and before he knew it was on the highball 5a arete in a blizzard. By the sounds of it, the downclimb from the problem was nearly as hard as the problem itself.

Dave writes on his blog that changes to his lifestyle, particularly nutrition, helped him outclimb his 30-year-old self.

"I do feel generally better, but specifically a bit stronger and more resilient to training stress, illness, injury. In other words, I feel like I bounce back a little better than I did before. I'll keep testing, trying to falsify. If it keeps working in this direction, I'll take it!"

Read more from Dave on his blog

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8 Mar, 2018

Typo in there I think. Pretty sure Dave is now 40, not 30.

Always inspiring for the rest of us in our 40s when top climbers of a similar age are climbing as hard as ever.

8 Mar, 2018

You probably misread it - it says he first attempted it in 2007 (when he was 30) and failed, but changes to lifestyle and nutrition have "...helped him to outclimb his 30-year-old self."

8 Mar, 2018

The sentence talks about how Dave managed to climb harder than his 30-year-old self.


8 Mar, 2018

Cheers. Makes sense now.

9 Mar, 2018

A 'separated shoulder' in September, then back on an 8b+ in November?


I want some of what Dave has

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